Lehigh Valley Sportsfest Discovers Scuba!

 

This weekend, for the first time in the twelve year history of the Lehigh Valley Sportsfest, participants had the opportunity to discover the magic of scuba diving.  This event, held each year in the Allentown area since 1997, has steadily grown in size and scope, with nearly 10,000 competitors and 100,000 spectators gathering this year at the festival.

This annual festival of sports and games, started with 16 events as the Allentown Sportsfest, and has grown now to over 100 different events, changing it’s name to the Lehigh Valley Sportsfest to more accurately reflect the regional involvmenet.  Indian Valley Scuba, and the International Association for Handicapped Divers, was asked by the Sportsfest founders to bring a Discover Scuba program to this years event.  We set up the IVS rolling DSD show at Cedar Beach Park, a massive pool/park/nature area, right near the center of the city of Allentown. 

On Saturday, they were lined up and waiting as we pulled the truck & trailer into the pool area.  By the end of the afternoon, over 45 divers had been briefed, geared up, and taken on tours, culminating in some basic skills training, paving the way for our next wave of certified divers!  Channel 69 News was there sharing the event with their viewers, and IVS-staffers Mike Gusenko, Ray Graff, Brad Creveling,  Barb White and Dave Valaika had their hands full, running non-stop without a break until finally closing the pool down at 7:00.  After that it was back to the shop, filling tanks, and getting ready for tomorrow!

Sunday was as beautiful a day as Saturday, with even larger crowds, more fun and another 55 divers getting wet and blowing bubbles for the very first time.  Lin Gusenko, Leslie & Carlie Adams, Butch Loggins, and Katie Chin joined the crew today, making it an even more fun event – what a great bunch of folks we had on both sides of the Discover Scuba program today.  By the end of the weekend we had taken over 110 divers in, went through nearly 90 tanks of air, and planted more than our fair share of smiles across the Lehigh Valley.

Look for us to be back next year! 

Camp Wonderfun Discovers Scuba Again!

 

Another repeat visit, this time to our little friends at Camp Wonderfun at the Harleysville Learning Center, with a special emphasis on their Learning about the Undersea World Week.  Team IVS brought out all the big guns, with Bev Loggins, Chris Rich, Mike Gusenko, Maureen Gribb, Steve Clem, Jim Cormier and Ray Graff sharing our love of the ocean with over 60 campers!   What a great way to reinforce what they had spent the week learning about, with Bev making sure we had plenty of great “touch and see” items, including sharks teeth, sea turtle shells, urchins, conch shells and more.  After an enthralling session in the classroom, we moved out to the pool, and spent the next two hours in the water, teaching the 7 & under crowd how to snorkel, while the 8 & up bunch enjoyed a Discover Scuba Diving session with our instructors.

This was our second visit this year to Camp Wonderfun, and we look to come back next season.  Would you like Team IVS to come to your school or camp program?  Just call us at the shop!

DSD comes to New Life School

Another day, another batch of new scuba enthusiasts!  Today we visited the New Life School in Schwenksville, PA for our third annual Discover Scuba Diving program.  This alternative school for youths age 12-19 is one of our favorite stops on the DSD tour, where we get to help turn a lot of energy in a positive direction.  Director Dan Novak tells us this is one of the most looked-forward to events of the summer season for the young men enrolled in the schools’s program.  Team IVS included Csaba Lorinczy, Steve Clem, Ray Graff, Maureen Gribb, Chris Rich & Tom Brennan, bringing a lot of collective experience into the mix to provide a great experience for the young men.

Phase one is a classroom session, with the students viewing the PADI Discover Scuba Diving video, followed with a detailed gear discussion and Q&A session.  Then, it’s off to the pool, for gear fitting and a snorkeling session to get everyone comfortable.  Finally, the scuba units are put on, and the class gets a great session of diving, learning some basic scuba skills, and most importantly, having FUN!

Want to join in our our DSD activities? Call Bev at the shop and see where the IVS Scuba Tour Bus is scheduled to travel to next!  Be part of the team and share what we  love so much with others.

BSA Troop 141 Discovers Scuba!

Hatfield, PA’s Boy Scout Troop 141 Discovered Scuba Diving tonight at the North Penn YMCA with Indian Valley Scuba!  Richie Kessler led a star-studded cast of IVS luminairies as we introduced the magic and wonder of scuba diving to yet another group of young persons from the area – this time the young men and adult leaders of Troop 141, located in Hatfield, PA.

Another great event, and as usual all sorts of training activities taking place in the pool, with Dry Suit classes, Open Water classes, and some Advanced Open Water work taking place simultaneously!  Team IVS sure knows how to choreograph pool time!

Let us know when your group wants to try diving, and we’ll be glad to bring our show to you!

Discover Scuba Diving a hit every time!

There is nothing quite like the adventure and excitement of taking that first breath underwater, and there is no better place to enjoy it than with the FREE Discover Scuba Diving programs offered by Indian Valley Scuba!  Our DSD crew was busy this weekend, starting off with Boy Scout Troop #214 from Telford, PA.  Twelve scouts spent almost two hours underwater with the IVS gang, and there was nothing but smiles and empty tanks at the end!  Troop leader Cindy Buckingham exclaimed “What a great time!  The scouts loved every minute of it!”. The event was held at the North Penn YMCA in Lansdale. 

If that was enough, we headed right back out to the Hatfield Aquatic Club again, for our third DSD in as many weeks.  Forty eight participants had a chance to get wet and deep with us during the program.  Once again we were mobbed by the crowd as they lined up to try the magic of scuba diving in this premier pool setting. Coach KB really sets her club apart from the others by offering innovative and exciting programs for the members, and Indian Valley Scuba is proud to be part of the HAC team!

Big thanks to the iVS team – Bev & Butch Loggins, Rich Kessler, Felix Gryn, Tom Brennan, Cassandra Rich, Bill Zyskowski, Jenna Murray & Chris Rich for making these wonderful events possible and for providing a night to remember for the participants!  

Hatfield Aquatic Center & SCUBA!

The first ever Hatfield Aquatic Center Discover Scuba Diving program was held at the township pool last evening.  Indian Valley Scuba, the exclusive provider of scuba training at the HAC, was invited to provide an evening of Discover Scuba Diving for the annual Hatfield Township Employees Picnic.  What a blast we had, with over 40 smiling faces emerging from the pool that evening, after discovering the joy of scuba diving.  The enthusiastic crowd, ranging in ages from 8 to adult, lined up from 5 o’clock until the pool closed at 8:30. 

So much fun was had we are coming back for two more sessions, on June 17th & 29th.  Be sure to tell your friends to come out and join us for FREE!  

Scouts Discover Scuba with IVS!

Today Indian Valley Scuba had the distinct honor of hosting the first ever Discover Scuba Diving program at the 42nd annual SCOPE Jamboree held in Furlong, PA.  This event, held each year between Boy Scout and Venture units in the Bucks County, PA and Toronto, Canada areas, brings approx 600 scouts and scout leaders together for a three day camping, educational and cultural exchange event. 

Team IVS team (Randy Rudd, Donna Raleigh, Tom Rebbie & Csaba Lorinczy) met at the shop at 7:00AM to carpool up with the IVS truck and trailer to the Boy Scout camp in Furlong.  A quick stop at the local Wawa for some Mountain Dew, to ensure the team would be up to dealing with the flood of teenage boys, and we arrived at the camp just after 8:00AM.  Doug Ellis (our chief organizer) and Steve Clem met the team at the pool, where we parked the trailer for the day. “How is the temp Doug?” we yelled out looking at the outdoor pool. “Don’t know …. Don’t want to know … but it’s COLD” The water was later measured to be 65 degrees. “Anybody has some extra 7 mil neoprene?”  

The Scout leaders greeted us with enthusiasm. “Everybody is so excited that you guys are here, we never had scuba at the camp. Thanks for coming, here are the signed waivers.” And they handed us a stack of 2-inch thick folders with over a hundred signed waivers. We took inventory in the IVS trailer, scratched our heads a bit than shrugged our shoulders … “Not to worry, everything always seems to work our in the end with IVS events”.

 Csaba set up the DSD video system in the cantina, Donna took control of all the waivers, while Steve, Tom and Randy started to assemble dive gear by the pool. Doug coordinated the arriving troops and leaders.  We were somewhat relieved when only 45 kids showed up to watch the Discover Scuba Video. While the scouts watched the video, Donna sorted and confirmed each waiver. Doug had arranged the scouts into groups of 8 and everybody got their time slot when they have to show up at the pool. We had Steve, Doug and Randy dress in full neoprene and take position in the pool, while Donna, Tom and Csaba providing support from the “shore” helping divers in and out and managing equipment.

The first group with 8 Venture girls at 10:15, who had a great Discover Scuba session and were very exited to be in the pool with IVS, didn’t even care about the frigid water temperature. They wanted more. The next session started at 11:00, and continued with eight new divers jumping in every 45 minutes all day long.  Some of the boys and girls loved it, some gave it a try and said “This is just not for me … but I tried.”  Lunch was served in shifts during the sessions to keep the team’s energy up. We were served with a great camp lunch of burgers, hot dog and funnel cake.

The afternoon went fast with full sessions right until late in the day.  A few older scouts enjoyed one-on-ones with our scuba instructors and took advantage of the open dive-slots that were available later in the day.Everybody enjoyed the opportunity to breath under water, no matter how cold it was. Even when all completed their class, the 3 girls from the first session and 2 other boys from the later sessions came back, got back in the pool and just wanted more … more  … more. We know how that is, that’s how we all got into diving. Randy and Steve stayed in the pool a bit longer where the kids starting to do skills of mask flooding, regulator clearing and buoyancy control.

At the end of the day almost 60 scouts from 6 different troops and 2 countries enjoyed scuba on this beautiful Memorial Day Saturday. The Scout leaders thanked us as we packed up all our gear and started to inquire about DSD sessions for other camporees and troop meetings – sounds like the Scuba was a big hit this weekend!